tv [untitled] March 28, 2014 12:00pm-12:31pm PDT
years. based on everything i heard today i wish i knew her longer. i hope i get to do soughtv those of us who know juliet and the equal of her character and impact of of her work can't help make the observation this is an attack on a woman and a woman of color. the commission signed a binding agreement in january and has reopened it up for litigation by breaking that agreement just so it can continue to attack her. the sfpuc did its own investigation and found no purposeful intent behind the mistake. the ethics commission investigation also found no intent. juliet is an activist and not a bureaucrat and just made an honest mistake of someone who has spent her life in city government. this example of ethics commission violating a written agreement that they had juliet speaks to other motivation, it just makes you sit back and say, what is the motivation behind this? this is a waste of san
francisco taxpayer dollars. the issue has been resolved and they need to move on and stop attacking her. it seems like thises was put to bed two months ago and it makes no one wonder why they bring this up again. the puc found no purposeful intent behind the mistake. this very own body found no intent behind the mistake. and as a young man, an african-american of color, i just ask that you just put this to rest. thank you. (applause) good evening, commissioners. my name is juliet butterfly hill. i'm most known for having lived for over two years without touching the ground and over 1,000 year old ancient tree in california to keep it from being cut down and call
attention to the plague of our overgrowth throughout the world. you might be wondering why i'm here tonight. i'm here tonight to speak on the matter of integrity. and in that space i am proud to stand alongside juliet ellis. integrity, as has been mentioned already tonight, integrity does not mean to make no mistakes. you only grow through making mistakes and learning from them. juliet ellis represents someone who has been willing to take so many risks to make the world better for others. how do you know someone playing a game full out like basketball? because they miss a couple of shots. because they're going full out. they're going beyond their capacity to win the game. juliet ellis is someone who has time and time and time again gone beyond the capacity to make a win for those who would otherwise not even be represented in the game. i can speak on integrity because i gave my word in
december of 1997 that i would not touch the ground again until i had done everything i could to save that tree. i went through the worst winter in recorded history of california. i went through people literally trying to kill me. i went through defamation in the newspapers just like juliet has and i stayed because i was raised to know that integrity means you give 100% to something. and if you make a mistake, you own it, you fix it, and then integrity is back. so, it is an honor to stand up here and say the reason i come here tonight, i have asthma really bad. actually, i came out of bed to come here tonight. i've been in bed all day because i have not been able to breathe with a very severe migraine which also makes it interesting for me because juliet ellis represents the coming together of environment and race in utilities, which happens to impact people like me with asthma. and that this idea of what we do with the environment and how
we -- it affects people are connected. so, i'm feeling it in my body as well. but i also wanted to stand here and state that i don't allow my name to be associated with just anyone. i've had corporations offer me thousands and thousands of dollars to market them as green and i walked away because integrity is not something that can be bought. it is who you are. and juliet ellis is a person of integrity and it is an honor to be a part of this community saying strike down this resolution and move forward because we need more juliet ellises, not less. thank you. (applause) good evening. my name is elizabeth and i have known juliet for more than 20 years. i suppose that's perhaps the longest. i really don't like speaking in public, but i felt completely compelled because i've spent hours on the phone with her in
tears and trying to really remind her who she is as a person, that all these attacks on her character are completely unjust, and that she has to stay strong because she does not want to end her government career on this note. and i'm telling you, it was touch and go for a while because of how much pain this whole process caused. and i just want to thank everybody for being here because this is the meeting i've been wanting her to witness and have so that she knows that the majority of the people, anybody who knows her, i always told her, anybody who has ever met you would say these kinds of things about you. (applause) and it's just -- i mean, i don't know, i talk to my mom today who loves her and juliet and i often talk about our mothers and, you know, when i first met her in bayview hunters point when we were working on youth leadership programs and she came to interview me and i had to pretend i knew what i was talking b. we had a really
hilarious conversation that i found somebody who actually cares, who is honest who is going to work hard, who is really funny and really smart, and we spent the next 20 years working together. and i couldn't have asked for a better colleague or a friend or a boss. and we laugh about, you know, why are we surrounded by crazy people sometimes? you know, you're raised to be raised right. where are people's manners? you're taught not to lie, not to cheat. this is why people can get up here and speak for hours about her. none of these people are making this up, you know. and i feel like i don't understand why the newspapers come out and it's such a one sided story. it's like a big joke. even my husband who doesn't track politics, it just sound like it's a character assassination right from the beginning. to take on somebody like that, it really is beyond words. and i don't know, my mother really wanted me to ask you this. she wants to understand what the hidden agenda is here.
(applause) and that's it. i mean, i'm really, really curious. you've been hearing a lot of people talking to you. i don't know that we get a chance to hear what you really think. that's what i want to know. i don't get it. i do not get why all of this keeps happening. it's really shameful. it's embarrassing. for juliet, she's really staying strong because she actually cares about the work. and for this to push her out of her job because people are basically ganging up on her and telling lies about her, for her to go out on that note, that's like, you know, advising her, you don't want to go out on that note. you came in to do this job. she was so excited to work for the puc was she could actually have impact. we worked for 10 years in the nonprofit and every single day we talked about how can we make a better -- a bigger difference. we're playing with little peanuts and here she is in this powerful position. she was so excitedth. >> thank you, man. she your time is up.
i want to pull a van moment. she had the ability to move resources into the community that she -- [inaudible]. and, you know, here was the big opportunity and to get slammed like that, i wish i had the numbers with me. the millions of dollars [speaker not understood]. (applause) commissioners, my name is lisa spinalli and i'm a third generation san franciscan with roots on the bayview on 16 12 la salle street. and i am here today because i've had the chance to work with juliet ~ for a number of years and serving on the board of ella baker center as well as working with her at urban habitat and currently working on some of the preliminary work
around the community [speaker not understood] happening around education in the bayview which is amazingly powerful. we need more leaders like juliet. no one wants to go into public service and this certainly doesn't help the case. you reached a decision. the decision was closed. it's a question mark of how could this possibly happen. the very first conversation i ever had with juliet when i first served on the board with ella baker was about manners. the last speaker talked about manners. my first conversation with her was about why don't more people have good manners. why aren't more people honest. why aren't more people direct. and deal with thing that should be dealt with. and it saddens me to think about what has happened. the juxtaposition of what has happened over the past year of who she is is an atrocity and it's an embarrassment as a san franciscan. i'm also the president of my neighborhood association and i have to do that job in a good democratic way and i would expect that you as the ethics commission would hold yourselves to a very high
standard because this is the ple where the buck stops with you. if a decision is made and it's closed, it's closed. if you reopen it, where is your efficacy? so, i ask you, please, sit citizen to citizen, [speaker not understood] move forward and let juliet continue to do the great work that she's doing. thank you. (applause) my name is ed donald son. i'm the chairperson of the san francisco chapter of the alliance for community -- alliance of californiaians for community empowerment better known as ace. i first came in contact with juliet ellis several years ago when i was introduced to her program, which is a nationally recognized program. so, there's a trend that's going on here. so, first she inspired a couple of presidents through a green jobs program. then she inspired countless cities around the country
through the creation of a community benefits program where she basically created something out of nothing. she's also responsible for the creation of what's called the urban habitat board and commission leadership program. it is a program that trains people from communities of color and also low-income communities to serve on boards like these. it's clear that from the folks that you heard from today that this is an extraordinary woman. and i'm having a hard time trying to figure out what is this all about. i mean, here is a woman that has inspired three nationally recognized programs that are empowering to communities of color. so, there's a trend there. i'm not going to take up too much of your time, but i just want to say that i concur with all the great things that have been said about juliet and i ask you guys very kindly that you would just dismiss this
resolution and allow her to go on with her life and with the great work that she's doing. thank you. (applause) good evening. my name is robert woods. i'm with the san francisco black human rights leadership council. and i don't know julia the way a lot of the people in the audience spoke about julia. i met julia through the southeast facility that is -- thats was given to the community for taking in the solid waste that came to bayview hunters point. that facility was given to the community about 1982. and my acquaintance with her now is she is part of the team
that is coming in to reclaim that facility back to the puc. only thing i ask is if you all under what we are living with on a day-to-day basis with that, with that solid waste facility out there and the kind words you're saying about julia, please talk to her about our situation that we he living in out there where we got that solid waste ~ facility out there and we get the smell out there. only thing we're saying is that sensitivity that you are giving her, pass that over to her so she can pass it over to us. we need that out there. and i did not come to bury julia. i came here to ask for your help and talk with julia about
our needs out there in terms of what we need out there because, number one, that facility out there was given to the community through litigation in terms of, in term of the sewer that was being brought into that community. and i'm not asking for her head. i'm asking for her to give us that same kind of sympathy that you all find of her that y'all she what she has to give. give it to us. we're not asking for a lot. but we are asking that that facility out there, it's the community facility. it's not puc's facility. we took in the crap for that facility and we are out there
training our kids. and if they take it, we lose that college out there, we lose everything. anything that they want to do out there to change that situation, [speaker not understood]. and i say please. tell julia we love her, too. >> thank you, sir. your time is up. tell her we love her too, and we ask for the same -- we ask for the same [speaker not understood]. (applause) hi, my name is theresa glenns, i'm the founder of old school cafe which is in the bayview hunters point. it's an organization that helps keep kids out of jail and out of streets and to stop the violence. juliet has been a great friend to us and to our community and to the youth.
ha just been somebody right away we can say these are the things going on, we need support, and just her heart, her heart is for our kid. her heart is for the community. and, so, i just want to say a couple words about we talk about making mistakes and owning it. i would encourage this body to not only stop this resolution, but also to apologize to her because i want you to under what it does to a person when you are already doing work and heart and soul in the community, it's hard. what we're up against and all the people in this community that are doing great, incredible work, it is the waste of everybody's time to have to go through this. as well as her time and what it does to her spirit. don't shoot holes in her. it's already hard enough to do this work then to be persecute and had have all this time and what it does to you emotionally when you're trying to do the work and then you have all this coming against is really, really -- it's past unfortunate.
so, i would say even an apology to her to c-e-q-aerction this and let's move on and let her do the great work. thank you. (applause) ~ my name is dr. cesar church well and vice president of [speaker not understood] health [speaker not understood] chamber of commerce. i know you heard the testimony, the words for her. i wonder if you under what we're talking about. the thing is and another thing i want to know do you know the definition of what closed case is? closed case means through, finished. must be a reason why you're bringing this back up. we don't know the reason why, but i know this sounds like a witch hunt. it is a witch hunt. and is a thing that should have been dissolved long time ago,
and it was, but you're bringing it back up. why? answer these questions. this is the ethics committee where you ought to do the ethical thing, so... (applause) my name is john [speaker not understood] i work at a local community group, i've also known juliet through her work at urban habitat in east bay. and you've heard from a lot of people about how principled, how high character, honorable, integrity and i echo that statement and all those statements from many speakers here today. she really has advanced a number of important programs for low and moderate income people. and really become a model of how we can create bigger accountability within some of our public agencies here in san francisco, which is a very difficult town to create real change in, especially for low-income people.
so, the puc has done an investigation. there's been an agreement that was done a couple months ago. it seems pretty logical that this shall be done, it should have been done a couple months ago. by doing this you create a pretty powerful group of people to come out and say to not only stop, but i would agree, change the resolution to an apology to juliet, stop this witch hunt and stop this politically motivated action. so... (applause) good evening, everybody. my name is christian [speaker not understood]. i'm not a california resident by birth. i moved here a few years ago. i just retired from the air force -- sorry, everybody. i did 22 years of dedicated service in the united states air force and what in the air force something called the core values.
integrity first, excellence in all we do, and service [speaker not understood]. anybody that knows juliet knows that this is her hands absolute down. another thing i'd like to say is punishment is a learning tool within the air force and as we're going up through our child hoods. she's learned from her mistakes, she's paid for it. [speaker not understood]. let's just press on, move forward and i'm pretty sure y'all have something better to do at this moment than listen to everybody else along with everybody else tell you how great she is. because that is a true fact. i'm sure everybody heard this. those people that push on thing like that usually are trying to hide something. i might want to take that into account if i were use because it could be you on the chopping block eventually. maybe you won't all these people standing here on your side. her ethical integral moral standing were the highest accord. she always will and continue to fight for what is right. whether or not you believe
that, it's your time. having us here tonight is us giving back to her, paying her forward and hoping that she can get past and through all this and we can all let her do her job. thank you. (applause) good evening. my name is carol tatum and i've lived in san francisco since 1955. and i have seen the african-american population go from somewhere between 17 and 25% to now between 4 and 6%. i've seen african americans live in substandard housing as now 80% of the 4 to 6% live in either public or subsidized housing. so, that is an indication of
how san francisco treats african americans. now, i don't know juliet. quite frankly, i didn't know about this situation. i don't read the newspaper as much as i should. but i heard about it yesterday. as a matter of principle, i felt that i should come here today. it sounds like this matter had been resolved, but you have chosen to reopen it. i don't know why. and people have indicated that there must be some ulterior motive. and as i sit and i listen, i have to believe that myself. but as president obama said, trayvon martin could be his son. juliet could be my daughter. so, i ask you to stop this.
stop this mistreatment of african-americans in this city. thank you. (applause) >> thank you for your comments. thank you for your comments. sir, please. yes, my name is sean richard, i'm the executive director of brothers against guns. i met juliet because she helped us with a second round of young men that we was helping called the redirection program with a few -- with one of my counterpartenerses ken mitchell that we started. a couple young men that was dealing with violence, anger management, conflict resolution, trying to get his life together, help them get jobs. we met her through the san francisco foundation seeking money. she helped us out and directed us. but the question is that we're opening up a case. why not open up the trayvon martin case and deal with that? if we're going to deal with issues, let's deal with a lot of issues we have in san francisco. this is a small issue. we all make mistakes. we bounce back, we do the right
thing and we move forward. we live and we build and we move on. but this right here is ridiculous. but i want to say to you guys is this. ask yourself if it was you, would you guys be going through the same situation juliet is going through? honestly ask yourself that. (applause) >> thank you. thank you for your comments. are you -- please. hi, my name is jerry edmonds. i lived here since '89. [speaker not understood]. i'm a black gay, positive med, use medical marijuana. not crack addicted and this city has a lot going on. so, african-american people, we are really -- we're not getting the service. we're not getting attention. knowing that this lady is working out in bayview where it's 500, $100 million homes being built, when you're trying
to take the project monday and i build those homes out there, knowing that, you know, we're trying to put even the plane crash in the plane, a black lady, [speaker not understood]. the black policemen get beat up in bayview even though he's a policeman. you see this noose on my tie? someone tie this into a noose. things like this in san francisco, we've become known for people -- giving people apartments, [speaker not understood] put a noose on this side. i have a black man [speaker not understood]. but stuff like this going on, i'm not surprised that we're here. tonight is really a good meeting of the minds because ethics, you know, should be part of all of our lives. and san francisco stands tall on the mountain, but we have to know that african americans have made this city what it is
greatly. and it's not appreciated of anything, you know. if you look at the tenderloin where i stay at, how hard it is to see people laying on the street. the mayor helped the mission, doesn't want to give them crack so they can get pharmaceutical crack. they got [speaker not understood] but you only give african-american people to come up. thank god that the president, michelle obama, first lady, [speaker not understood], walking the great wall. and you know this thing about where african-american kids are losing their funding because they said we don't have houses here so they don't need the money. the education is being [speaker not understood]. at ethics, i don't want you to feel like you're russia,
uganda, cameroon, [speaker not understood]. i know i myself, i work hard as a great humanitarian from this side of the country for the rest of our world. and, you know, san francisco should treat us blacks [speaker not understood], we have 38,000 registered black voters in here. we need to start by coming in here [speaker not understood] the day that martin luther king was assassinated and standing out with the trash men and be out here for housing and schools and education in san francisco just for a friday, you know. if we're going to start [speaker not understood] we're going to come down here and ask everyone to be a part of what ethics in san francisco -- >> thank you. the way it should look, [speaker not understood]. thank you. (applause) >> i want to thank the speaker ask all the speakers for their comments. many of them were very moving and clearly ms. ellis is lucky to have you all. during the course of the comments, commissioner keane asked to be specially recognized at this moment. >> thank you, mr. chair. i speak as a point of personal privilege.
i, i have never known ms. ellis. i had no idea who she was. i never met her. i didn't know her race. i knew nothing about her. i see the supporters she has. i see the people who are here whom i've known in san francisco, many of them for 40 years or more, people like reverend and ms. brown, arnold townsend, van jones, many other people from the baker senate. what happened in regard to this matter in terms of you're asking for an explanation of it as to whether or not there is some sort of hidden agenda. i can tell you there is not. and let me just go -- give you the history of what happened here. ~ so we can all understand and i can do what i have to do. we had ms. ellis essentially admit to and plead guilty to a
couple of things which, one, two counts of influencing a government decision in which the official has a financial benefit. and also another count of violation of a section which prohibits any city or officer or employee from making a contract in which she has a financial interest. and then there was another one having to do with inappropriate conduct. this committee had gone ahead and prosecuted her for those ethical violations under its powers to do so. and had entered into a stipulation with her giving her, and which she accepted certain putsv, which were the extent of what we could punish her for, for these particular violations. so, in that sense, then, our job was over in regard to ms. ellis. the thought was at the time when we were doing this, and we had none of you all here,
nobody was here. the thought when we were doing this, that in regard to these particular violations influencing a government decision, which the official has a financial benefit, that's a fairly egregious ethical breach and the thought was, and we had some discussion, i had mentioned it, this person by admitting these things has really admitted that she engaged in corrupt conduct and has disgraced herself and it would be unlikely that she would continue in san francisco employment, that she would likely be fired. so, the next step, then, was that it was in the -- the ball was in the court of the san francisco public utilities commission. and i had heard that they had not terminated her. so, i was the one who introduced this resolution. i'm the one